How to Grow Weed Indoors – Step 2: Building Your Indoor Grow Room
Click on the link to check out “How to Grow Weed Indoors – Step 1.”
Now that you’ve got a plan, it is time get started building your indoor grow room. As mentioned before, soil-growing has its drawbacks, but I still recommend it for beginning growers, so for the purpose of this guide, we will be talking about setting up an indoor soil-garden.
If you want to learn more about both soil-growing and hydroponic methods, check out Ryan Riley’s book about how to grow weed indoors and outdoors, “Growing Elite Marijuana: The Complete Guide.”
When growing weed in your home, there are really a lot of different ways you can do it depending on how much you want to grow and the other variables you discovered when writing up your plan. The details of setting up a small hobby grow are beyond the scope of this short guide, so if that’s what you’re looking for, check out the book mentioned above.
In this guide, we’ll talk about setting up a bigger, more standard-sized grow.
If you’re lucky, you have a shed or outbuilding in your yard that you can grow in. This can be pretty convenient because no matter what precautions you take it is likely that an indoor growing environment is going to wreak a little havoc on your house. The downside of growing in an outside room, however, is that you cannot keep as close an eye on the room, so it’s best done this way if you’ve got a fenced yard and can let a dog or two run freely.
Dogs can be a great deterrent to would-be thieves.
Another thing to keep in mind with a small outdoor room is that you need to take extreme precautions to keep light from spilling out into the yard. If the room is big enough, you should probably hang up a wall of heavy, dark plastic. A more secure option might be to put up a real wall with a door that can be closed securely.
If you don’t have an outside room, you can use a closet or a whole bedroom in the house. This can be costly in the long run if you get water damage or a mold problem starts, but running a dehumidifier in the room can cut back on the likelihood of this happening. An existing room can be convenient because there is no need to build walls and a ceiling.
Unfortunately, a grow room in a bedroom can be difficult to hide from visitors.
The best option is to build a room in your garage, and some houses even have a big enough garage that you can leave enough room to drive in and close the door. Garages work best because they are attached to your house, they will not suffer as much damage from the elements, and they typically have a concrete floor, which is easy to clean and cannot be easily damaged.
Furthermore, guests are not likely to wander out to your garage or even wonder why it is locked.
If building a whole new room in your garage, be sure to use insulation, and consider covering the walls with soundboard to cut down on noise. Seal off all the windows in the garage even if they are high up—opening a door to a grow room will fill the garage with suspicious light otherwise. Hanging some plastic inside the door of the room (be sure to build it so it opens outward!) can help this, but it is safer to just cover all windows and holes beforehand.
There are even grow tents on the market that you can buy and set up as is.
Once you’ve got a room set up, prepare it for growing. Paint the walls with flat white paint that is pre-mixed with fungicide. Cover any windows with blinds or curtains, and then staple sturdy black plastic tightly over the window coverings. If you already have your light, turn it on late at night and go outside to search the window for any light leaks.
Next, you need to set the room up for electricity. If you are just growing a little smoke in a closet, you might be fine with a fluorescent light plugged into a wall, but if you are using bigger lamps do not plug them into normal wall outlets! A grow room takes a lot of power and more voltage will need to be run to that room.
I am not going to give advice on setting up electricity because I don’t want to be responsible for you frying yourself to a crisp, so if you don’t have the necessary skills, hand the job to someone who does (and that you can trust).
Or check out Ryan Riley’s growing marijuana guide—you can get it here.
After electricity is set up, run an exhaust system. An exhaust system circulates air, cuts down on humidity, and filters the intense smell of marijuana. You will need an exhaust fan, ducting, a carbon filter, and a thermostat control.
It is a simple system. The fan is plugged into an outlet controlled by your thermostat, and every time the temperature reaches a predetermined temp, it activates the fan. The fan then pulls hot air through the carbon filter and expels it outside the house or into a drafty attic.
If the room is big enough, you can stand the carbon filter up in a corner and run the ducting straight up to a fan mounted on the ceiling or wall. Most growers, however, want to use all of the space they can, so they hang the filter using hooks or strong straps (ratcheting tie-downs work best).
In most cases, no intake fan will be needed, but you may want to cut a hole in a floor or wall to allow fresh, cool air to be sucked into the room every time the fan comes on.
Cover the intake with silk screen to keep out bugs, and don’t forget about hiding the light! An easy solution for keeping light from escaping through the intake is to run a short piece of ducting up from the hole and bend it enough so that light doesn’t shine through.
Always check the room for light leaks before you start growing!
You need oscillating fans in the room as well. A strong draft is good for your plants because it forces them to grow stronger (and bigger), keeps them cooler, and makes the environment less hospitable to mold and bugs. Buy the wall-mounted kind, and hang them around various parts of the room where they can sweep across the plants.
Now that all your fans are set up, it’s time to build beds. A good size for your plant beds is 4 feet by 4 feet, but some lights are designed to adequately cover a greater area. You can even use pots for your plants—this makes them easier to move around and work with as needed—but it is still better to have raised beds to get them up off the ground.
If you do go with pots, I highly recommend using square ones. They are more expensive, but they will allow your plants to fill out more completely (your branches can only grow as far as the walls of the pot. A simple bed of soil holding rows of plants, on the other hand, can be easier to water because you don’t have to water each individual pot.
Make the beds using concrete blocks, two-by-fours, and strong plywood. Construct the walls of the bed with two-by-sixes, and then line the bed with water-proof material. Pond liner is the best, most durable material you will find, but it is a bit expensive. If you want to skip all the building, you can buy plastic beds from most hydro stores.
After your beds are set up, hang your lights. If you can, buy the lights that can be switched from metal halide to high-pressure sodium. Metal halides are better for the grow cycle and the HPS lights are better for growing bud—if you cannot get switchable lights or don’t want to pay for the extra bulbs, just stick with the HPS.
1000 watt lights provide a lot more light, but keep in mind that three 600 watt lights will produce more weight than two 1000 watt lights. Thus, the smaller lights are a better bet if you can foot the initial cost—use all three to cover the same area you would usually cover with the two big ones.
Do not just put hooks in ordinary drywall and hang your lights on them thinking they will hold! If the hook pulls out of the wall, the lamp will fall on the canopy of your garden and very likely start a fire—not a good way to wake up in the middle of the night. Each hook should be sunk deep into a stud.
If that’s impossible because it puts your lights in the wrong spot, you can screw a two-by-four up so it goes the length of the ceiling. Screw the two-by-four into the studs, and then screw your hooks into the two-by-four.
Hang your lights using chain—rope is not dependable enough. Baling wire actually works extremely well because it bends easily. Just make sure to use some pliers to get a good knot going in it, and don’t bend it and unbend it repeatedly because it can weaken and break if you manipulate it too much over time.
Plug all your lights into a timer that controls their power source.
Some rooms will require a dehumidifier but I don’t recommend getting one until you are sure you need it—it may depend on your local climate. Just leave room in case you need one in the future, and be sure to hang up a humidistat to keep tabs.
Finally, you are going to need a way to deliver water. If you’re in the garage, it might be as easy as running a hose into the room when it’s time to water, but set up a reservoir in the corner so you can mix nutrients during feeding time (unless you plan to foliar feed). A simple pickle barrel or unused trash can with a sump pump dropped inside make a great reservoir.
That’s it! Your room is set up and ready to go. Now move on to the next step—planting…
Click Here for “How to Grow Weed – Indoors Step 3.”
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